JP-8 jet fuel exposure potentiates tumor development in two experimental model systems

Dt Harris, D. Sakiestewa, D. Titone, X. He, J. Hyde, M. Witten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The US Air Force has implemented the widespread use of JP-8 jet fuel in its operations, although a thorough understanding of its potential effects upon exposed personnel is unclear. Previous work has reported that JP-8 exposure is immunosuppressive. Exposure of mice to JP-8 for 1 h/day resulted in immediate secretion of two immunosuppressive agents; namely, interleukin-10 (IL-10) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). Thus, it was of interest to determine if jet fuel exposure might promote tumor growth and metastasis. The syngeneic B16 tumor model was used for these studies. Animals were injected intravenously with tumor cells, and lung colonies were enumerated. Animals were also examined for metastatic spread of the tumor. Mice were either exposed to 1000 mg/m3JP-8 (1 h/day) for 7 days before tumor injection or were exposed to JP-8 at the time of tumor injection. All animals were killed 17 days after tumor injection. In the present study, JP8 exposure potentiated the growth and metastases of B16 tumors in an animal model. Exposure of mice to JP-8 for 1 h/day before tumor induction resulted in an approximately 8.7-fold increase in tumors, whereas those mice exposed to JP8 at the time of tumor induction had a 5.6-fold increase in tumor numbers. Thus, low concentration JP-8 jet fuel exposures have significant immune suppressive effects on the immune system that can result in increased tumor formation and metastases. We have now extended the observations to an experimental subcutaneous tumor model. JP8 exposure at the time of tumor induction in this model did not affect the growth of the tumor. However, JP8-exposed, tumor-bearing animals died at an accelerated rate as compared with air-exposed, tumor-bearing mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-623
Number of pages7
JournalToxicology and Industrial Health
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • JP-8
  • cancer
  • hydrocarbon inhalation
  • immunotoxicology
  • jet fuel
  • metastasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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